Three Irish universities have dropped in the world rankings, while UCC has jumped three places to become Ireland's first five-star university.

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland's only college in the top 100, has dropped 13 places to 65 the QS World Rankings, while NUI Galway and UCD have both slipped dramatically, with NUIG dropping from 232 to 298, and UCD dropping 20 places to 134.

UCC became the first Irish university to gain five-star status, which is expected to improve its ability to acquire funding on a global level.

Trinity Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast pointed to cuts in funding as the reason for the rankings drop for Irish universities, but maintained that TCD continued to compete at the highest level.

QS individual subject rankings earlier this year placed Trinity in the top 50 universities in the world for English Language and Literature, History, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology, while Mathematics ranked in the top 15.

DCU was the only other Irish university to rise in the rankings, gaining four places to sit at 326.

Cambridge remained the top university in the world, followed by Harvard, MIT and Oxford.

The US Ivy League universities and English universities populate the majority of the top 20 places on the QS World Rankings List.